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Three Iconic Brands That Have Stood the Test of Time

In today’s everchanging world, the average consumer is presented with innovative branding concepts every day. Thousands dominate their sector, hundreds that remain firm favourites but few that truly stand the test of time.

Tapping into the hidden treasure chest that is iconic branding will result in almost unbreakable loyalty and recognition. But, how have these top tier brands reached a level that many companies can only dream of? Quite simply, they go beyond their product or service. According to a study the Harvard Business Review, 64% of participants listed shared values as a primary reason for having a strong relationship with a brand.

For the most elite brands, you only have to see a few seconds of an advert or a corner of their logo to instantly recognition their strong and consistent identity. Having this kind of status is powerful. Known all over the world, throughout decades and among several generations, what more could a brand want?

Here we take a look at three timeless brands and how they’ve remained iconic.


With those world-renowned golden arches, Ronald McDonald and fast food that’s the perfect weekend treat (or hangover cure) McDonald’s is a brand that everyone loves. From humble beginnings on Route 66, McDonald’s hit the big time when it arrived in cities across the world. The idea of eating McDonald’s fast food became a symbol of the modern and urban lifestyle that so many people wanted to be a part of.

But, to stay relevant McDonald’s has continued to stay relevant while retaining its values. So what are the core values that make McDonald’s branding so effective? Well, the power is in simplicity. They offer fast, affordable and tasty meals that are family-friendly and it works! When you have nothing in the fridge and want to keep the kids quite McDonald’s is your best friend. Want to grab a coffee on your way to work? Use the McDonald’s drive-through.

Imagine meeting someone who had never had a McDonald’s…the thought is almost impossible. You can say the name in any country and it’s instantly recognised. Despite initially drawing in teens and kids, McDonald’s has introduced new products, catered to new demographics and churned out amazing campaigns without compromising its core value of simplicity. The phrase ‘I’m Lovin’ it’ has never rung truer.

Coca Cola

Coca Cola focuses on branding much more than the product, as without its solid identity the product could be just any other fizzy carbonated drink. First established just before 1900, Coca Cola is still just as popular over a century later.

So, what’s the big idea around Coca Cola’s branding? Coke is branded as something that brings people together - this is a lifestyle that everyone wants to be a part of as family and friends can share a bottle of coke, connect and feel joy. The popular ‘share a coke’ campaign was a huge success and eager customers searched supermarket shelves to find their name on a can of coke.

Plus, the tune we look forward to every year...holidays are coming, holidays are coming...name a more iconic Christmas advert. Again, the brand took something that unites us (Santa Claus), placed a Coca Cola in his hand and their message of bringing people together was reinforced. Not to mention, his iconic red and white outfit that just happens to be on brand. These cleverly adapted marketing campaigns that have made Coca Cola a universal success. The brands tell-tale red, all marketing features happy people smiling broadly and simple taglines. As a result, the branding is timeless enough to survive decades.


When you think of luxury products, Rolex is one brand that instantly comes to mind. But when it comes to marketing, you won’t see a Rolex advert popping up or influencers showing off a newly gifted watch on Instagram. Why? Because purchasing a Rolex is not usually something you add in your basket every day. The brand has positioned itself as something investable and timeless rather than fleeting, with carefully selected endorsements, adverts and sponsorships.

Taglines such as ‘class is forever’ and ‘A Rolex will never change the world. We leave that to the people who wear them’ attaches itself to a certain type of customer and lifestyle. However, this is still something that many others can aspire to and therefore Rolex has become the epitome of luxury and excellence. An interesting feature of Rolex’s branding is the mystery element. Because Rolex does not appear constantly on our TV’s or social media pages, this makes the brand more appealing and keeps people guessing compared to other similar brands.

When you see a person wearing a Rolex it has the wow factor. What do they do for a job? How did they afford that? Over the years Rolex has developed a social status that is a major part of its branding. All of this ties into the core values of the brand being aspirational. From the crown to the purposeful green lettering in the logo, a colour associated with money, Rolex’s branding has an ever-present message that their products are for high-achieving, successful and aspiring clientele.

So, what do these three brands have in common? Clearly developing a brand isn’t just about coming up with a fancy logo. You must choose your core values carefully and stick to them, reinterpret your identity to remain relevant and tell a story. Follow these steps and you will put your business ahead of the competition and who knows, you could be the next timeless brand to become a household name.

Check out our branding services today become the next iconic brand in your industry.


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